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Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
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Culture Wars in the US Supreme Court - JTM517
Anglický název: Culture Wars in the US Supreme Court
Český název: Kulturní války v Nejvyšším soudu USA
Zajišťuje: Katedra severoamerických studií (23-KAS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2022 do 2022
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:1/1, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: 16 / neurčen (20)
Minimální obsazenost: 5
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Alexander William Carl Hornaday
Vyučující: Alexander William Carl Hornaday
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Bc. Jana Poskerová (13.10.2022)
More in other parts of the syllabus
Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Alexander William Carl Hornaday (17.08.2023)

In this course students will explore how the United States Supreme Court attempts to solve, but just as often enflames, culture war issues in the United States.  Students will learn how cases get to the United States Supreme Court, the differing standards the Supreme Court uses to decide cases, the competing judicial philosophies on the Supreme Court, and how the Supreme Court's approach to some issues has changed over time.  The primary sources in this course will be Supreme Court decisions or summaries thereof.  The Students will learn how to read Supreme Court decisions to determine the cultural and legal issues at play.  Cases will focus on issues of race, religion, sexuality, speech, crime, and other areas that culturally divide Americans.  After taking this course, Students will not only have a sense of the increasingly dominant role of the Supreme Court in culture war battles, but they will also have firm grasp on U.S. legal process and jurisprudence as they relate to the biggest controversies in America.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Alexander William Carl Hornaday (14.09.2023)

15% Preparation and Participation – Students are required to attend class meetings regularly, do the assigned readings before class including an assigned reading for the first day , and contribute to class discussions. Students who miss 4 or more class sessions will receive 0 for this portion of the evaluation.

15% Class Response Questions - After each class the instructor will email a question relating to the class material that day.  Students should answer any 6 of these questions with 250-500 words each.  Students may choose to send these throughtout the semester or turn them in all at once.  These are due one week after the end of classes.

20% Case Brief – Students will be required to read and brief a case in 1000-1200 words. The instructor will provide a list of possible cases. Due on October 31, 2023,

20% Reaction Paper – Students will select a case to read, and write a 1800-2200 word reaction in which the students brief the case and provide the student's own analysis of and opinion about the Court's decision. The instructor will provide a list of possible cases. Due on December 5th, 2023.

30% Final Test – The final test will be a take home exam based on the readings and discussions and include short answer and open-ended short essays. 

Students will be permitted to revise and resubmit the Case Brief and Reaction Paper for additional credit.

Evaluation of course work will be primarily based on the substantive quality of the work, and minor English grammar mistakes will not affect the grade. Students may request feedback on the quality of their English usage. 

The grading will be as follows:

  • 91% and more => A
  • 81-90% => B
  • 71-80% => C
  • 61-70% => D
  • 51-60% => E
  • 0-50% => F

Ethics for Submitted Materials:

(A) Any use of quoted texts in submitted papers  must be acknowledged. Such use must meet the following conditions:

1. Citations for quoted and paraphrased material should be in footnotes. Paraphrased material should be indicated by the word "See" at the beginning of the citation. 

For example: See Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 US 479, 488 (1965)

2. For quotations of 50 words or less, the beginning and end of the quoted passage must be shown with quotation marks. For quotations longer than 50 words, the quoted text should be a block quotation with the left margin of the quoted text indented.

3. When quoting from cases, the first citation should include the full case name , the volume number of the reporter, the name of reporter, the first page of the case in the reporter, the page of the quoted text, (the year of the case).

For example: Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 US 479, 488 (1965).

        Subsequent citations to cases may use the short form, which includes an abbreviated case name, number of the reporter, name of the reporter, the word "at", and the page of the quoted text

For Example: Griswold , 381 US at 488.

4. When quoting from periodicals or books, citations should include the name(s) of author(s), book or article titles, the year of publication, and page from which the passage is quoted;

5. The first citation for sources found on the Internet, not including cases, must include a full web address where the text can be found as well as the date the web page was visited by the author.

It is recommended to use the style of either The Bluebook or The Chicago Manual of Style.

(B) In the event of the use of any texts other than those written by the author is established without proper acknowledgment as defined in (A), the paper will be deemed plagiarized and handed over to the Disciplinary Commission of the Faculty of Social Sciences .

(C) In the event the Instructor believes that any submitted work might have been generated by ChatGPT or other similar tools, the Instructor may require the student to defend the work orally.

Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Alexander William Carl Hornaday (17.09.2023)


  • "Excerpt" refers to edited selections from the Supreme Court decision
  • "Case Brief" refers to a summary of the case prepared by the instructor
  • "Syllabus" refers to an official summary prepared by the United States Supreme Court

Readings for the fourth and subsequent lectures will be sent by email.

UNIT I: Introduction to the United States Supreme Court

1. Hhow to read a case, overview of the Supreme Court and how to get there.


     1st Amendment to the US Constitution

     Cohen v. California , 403 US 15 (1971) - Excerpt [Warning: The language may be difficult. Students might find it helpful to search online for a summary or explanation.]

     Annenberg Classroom , "A Conversation on the Constitution: Judicial Interpretation," YouTube Video 36:35, Sept. 13 , 2018, available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VNRxF_9VU8  (last visited June 30, 2023)

2. How the Supreme Court reviews cases: State action, standards of review, and suspect classes


     Yick Wo v. Hopkins , 118 US 356 (1886) – Case Brief

     US v. Carolene Products Co.,  304 US 144 (1938) - Excerpt

     Shelley v. Kraemer,  304 US 144 (1948) - Case Brief


     Shelley v. Kraemer,  304 US 144 (1948) - Excerpts

UNIT II: Education

3. Race and Education

Required Reading:

     13 th  , 14 th  , and 15 th  Amendments to the US Constitution   

     Plessy v. Ferguson , 163 US 537 (1896) – Case Brief

     Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka , 347 US 483 (1954) – Excerpt

     Grutter v. Bollinger , 539 US 306 (2003) – Syllabus/Case Brief

     Students For Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard,  600 US ___ (2023) - Syllabus


     Section IV of Powell's opinion in  Regents of the University of California v. Bakke , 438 US 265, 305-14 (1978)

4. Religion and Education


     Engel v. Vitale , 370 US 421 (1962) - Case Brief

     Westside Community Board of Ed v. Mergens,  496 US 226 (1990) - Syllabus + excerpts

     Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, 561 U.S. 661 (2010) - Syllabus + excerpts

     Kennedy v. Bremerton School District - Excerpts


     JJ McCullough, “How Evangelicals Became Republicans,” YouTube Video 32:03, July 19, 2020   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpLCIc5PvQw  (Last visited Sept. 6, 2022)

     Engel v. Vitale , 370 US 421 (1962) – Majority Opinion

UNIT III: Law and Order

5. Free Speech and Its Limitations


     Roth v. US ,354 US 476 (1957) - Excerpts 

     One Inc. v. Olesen , 241 F.2d 772 (8th Cir. 1957) – Case Brief

     Brandenburg v. Ohio,  395 US 444 (1969) - Excerpts

     National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie , 432 US 43 (1977) – Case Brief

     Island Trees Sch. District  v. Pico , 457 US 853 (1982) - Case Brief

     Angel Haupt,  The Rise in Book Bans Explained , Washington Post (June 9, 2022) available at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/books/2022/06/09/rise-book-bans-explained/  (Last visited Sept .6, 2022)


     Debs v. United States , 249 US 211 (1919) - Case Brief

6. Democracy and Politics


     Shaw v. Reno , 509 US 630 (1993) - Excerpts

     Rucho v. Common Cause , 588 US ___ (2019) - Syllabus

     Allen v. Milligan , 599 US ___ (2023) - Syllabus

     LastWeekTonight, “Voting Rights: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO),” YouTube video, 7:48 p.m., Sept. 27, 2021   https://youtu.be/EN9OdruH_qM   (last visited Sept. 7, 2022). 


     PBS NewsHour, “What the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona voting laws means for voting rights,” YouTube video, 8:44, July 2, 2022  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_bzwh5GAag  (last visited Sept. 7, 2022)

7. Police Power


     4th , 5th and  6th  Amendments  to the US Constitution

     Miranda v. Arizona , 384 US 436 (1966) - Case Brief

     Terry v. Ohio , 392 US 1 (1968) - Case Brief

     Graham v. Connor , 490 US 386 (1989) - Case Brief

     Case summary:  State of Minnesota v. Chauvin

     [News articles regarding BLM]


     Vegah v. Tekoh  - Excerpts

8. Drugs


     Leary v. United States, 395 US 6 (1969) - Excerpts

     Employment Division v. Smith,  494 US 872 (1990) - Syllabus/excerpts

     Gonzales v. Raich545 US 1 (2005) - Syllabus/excerpts

9. Guns


     2ndAmendment  to the US Constitution

     District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 US 570 (2008)  – Syllabus/Excerpts

     McDonald v. Chicago,  561 US 742 (2010) – Syllabus/Excerpts

     NY State Rifle & Pistol Assn v. Bruen  - Syllabus/Excerpts

UNIT IV: Privacy Rights

10. Sex and Marriage


     Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 US 479, 488 (1965) – Case Brief

     Loving v. Virginia , 388 US 1 (1967) – Case Brief/Excerpts

     Roe v. Wade , 410 US 113 (1973) – Syllabus and Excerpts  

     Planned Parenthood v. Casey , 505 US 833 (1992) – Excerpts


      The Economist, “How America politicized abortion,” YouTube video 12:09 p.m., Dec. 4, 2019,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jerdBX3JeOk (last visited Sept. 7, 2022)

11. LGBTQ+ Rights


     Lawrence v. Texas,  539 US 558 (2003) - Syllabus  

     Obergefell v. Hodges,  576 US 644 (2015) – Syllabus and Excerpts

     Bostock v. Clayton County , 590 US ___ (2020) – Syllabus

     303 Creative LLC v. Elenis,  600 US ___ (2023) - Syllabus

12. One Case to Rule (Ruin?) Them All


     Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization  - Excerpts

UNIT V: Conclusion

13. Coming Up: Cases the Supreme Court will consider in the future (Cases subject to change)

Required: TBA


Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Alexander William Carl Hornaday (18.08.2023)
This course is taught with a modified version of the case method used in US Law Schools. Students will read cases, excerpts and/or summaries in preparation for each session, then after an introductory lecture, the instructor will guide the students through a discussion of cases to help the students see how the legal rules develop and apply to contemporary American life.
Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Alexander William Carl Hornaday (15.09.2023)

UNIT I: Introduction to the United States Supreme Court

     Oct. 3: How to read a case, overview of the Supreme Court, and how to get there.

     Oct. 10: How the Supreme Court reviews cases: [State action, standards of review, and suspect classes]

UNIT II: Education

     Oct. 17: Race and Education [Segregation and affirmative action]

     Oct. 24: Religion and Education [Prayer in school and so-called "Don't Say Gay" bills]

UNIT III: Law and Order

     Oct. 31: Free Speech and Its Limitations [Obscenity, incitement, and banning books]

     Nov. 7: Democracy and Politics [Gerrymandering, the right to vote, and money in politics]    

     Nov. 14: Police Power [Rights of the accused, use of force, and the BLM movement]

     Nov. 21: Guns [The individual right to possess a gun]

     Nov. 28: Drugs [The legal landscape around cannabis and other intoxicants] 

UNIT IV: Privacy Rights

     Dec. 5:  Sex and Marriage [Contraception, interracial marriage, and abortion]

     Dec. 12: LGBTQ+ Rights [Sodomy laws, gay marriage, and antidiscrimination in employment]

     Dec. 19: One Case to Rule (Ruin?) Them All:   Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization - Excerpts

UNIT V: Conclusion     

     Jan 9: Wrap Up and Looking Ahead: Cases the Supreme Court will consider in the future 


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